Anatomy Of A Dental Implant

If you're getting ready to have dental implants put into your mouth, you probably want to know as much as possible about this dental prosthetic that should remain in your mouth for the rest of your life.

In order to understand the process of putting a dental implant in the mouth, it helps to know a little bit about the three parts of an implant. The following is a brief explanation of each of these parts and the parts work together to replace teeth:

The fixture

The fixture of a  dental implant is embedded into the gum line and eventually fuses with the jawbone. The fixture is an artificial tooth root that ensures that the implant will stay in place. 

Usually, the fixture of a dental implant is made from metal titanium. Fixtures often have a screw-shaped design. However, they can also be cylindrical. Fixtures are sometimes made from solid metal titanium, but they can also be hollow inside.  

To help fixtures take root in the gum, they are often coated with a bone-generation material that will encourage the jawbone to grow in around them. Such a coating helps with osseointegration, which is the scientific term for the fusion of the implant with the bone.

The abutment

The abutment extends above the gum line and secures the prosthesis to the fixture. This abutment is like a metal extension of the fixture.

In a typical dental implant procedure, the abutment will not initially be attached to the fixture. Rather, it will be screwed onto the the fixture once the fixture has already been implanted and osseointegration has occurred. 

The prosthesis

This part of the dental implant is the visible part. The prosthesis is also sometimes called the crown of the implant.

The prosthesis is designed to look like a real tooth. It can be made from a variety of different materials, including bone, plastic, metal, or ceramic. Depending on the design of the implant, the prosthesis could snap or screw in place atop the abutment. In some cases, the prosthesis is cemented into place. 

Assembling the implant

Each of the three parts of a dental implant are assembled together during the implant process. Typically, the fixture will be implanted into the gum during one appointment, and patients will come back at a later date to have the prosthesis put into place. This means that getting dental implants is a procedure that requires multiple appointments. 

If you have more questions, contact a company like Anaheim Dentist with your concerns.